George Will: The war on free advice

RALEIGH, N.C. —North Carolina is giving Steve Cooksey some choices. He can stop speaking. Or he can get a PhD in nutrition, or a medical degree, or a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and then pass an examination after completing a 900-hour clinical internship. Or he can skip this onerous credentialing, keep speaking and risk prosecution.

He has chosen instead to get a lawyer. His case, argued by the libertarians at the Institute for Justice (IJ), will clarify the First Amendment’s relevance to an ancient human behavior and a modern technology.

Four years ago, Cooksey was a walking — actually, barely walking — collection of health risks. He was obese, lethargic, asthmatic, chronically ill and pre-diabetic. The diet advice he was getting from medical and other sources was, he decided, radically wrong. Rather than eat a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, he adopted what he and other enthusiasts call a Paleolithic diet, eating as primitive humans did — e.g., beef, pork, chicken, leafy green vegetables. Cooksey lost 75 pounds and the need for drugs and insulin. And, being a modern Paleo, he became ablogger, communicating his dietary opinions.

When a busybody notified North Carolina’s Board of Dietetics/Nutrition that Cooksey was opining about which foods were and were not beneficial, the board launched a three-month investigation of his Internet writings and his dialogues with people who read and responded to them. The board sent him copies of his writings, with red pen markings of such disapproved postings as: “I do suggest that your friend eat as I do and exercise the best they can.”

Read more at JewishWorldReview.com: George Will: The war on free advice.

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